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In the Swedish/Danish TV series Bron/Broen (aka "The Bridge" ) Charlotte took Goran's daughter to certain building where open casket/coffin with Goran's body was surrounded by candles. Was it public or private place? I.e. is it customary in that country or it was just specific Charlotte's desire.

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What you are referring to is a wake.

Wikipedia can fill you in on the details, but I'll add the gist of it here (emphasis is mine):

A wake is a social gathering associated with death, usually held before a funeral. Traditionally, a wake takes place in the house of the deceased with the body present; however, modern wakes are often performed at a funeral home or another convenient location. In the United States and Canada it is synonymous with a viewing. It is often a social rite that highlights the idea that the loss is one of a social group and affects that group as a whole.

It used to be the custom in most Celtic countries in Europe for mourners to keep watch or vigil over their dead until they were buried — this was called a "wake".

This is a cultural phenomenon, and can be specific from person to person. A great aunt of mine had a wake by her personal request; no one else in my family has had one.


When you ask whether it is public or private; that very much depends what you are focusing on:

  • Traditional wakes were held in the house of the deceased. Modern wakes are usually held in a funeral home. Legally speaking, this is private property (i.e. owned by the family or the funeral director). Access can be denied if the owner so chooses.
  • People can choose to have an open wake (anyone can visit), or only have a wake with a close group of friends and family. That's a personal decision.

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